15 August 2011

Rieslings and Glass Stoppers

Although it happens every three months, I'm still pleasantly surprised each quarter when a pair of bottles from Wines of Germany shows up here at Casa de Benito. It's a chance to decipher the dozens of words on the front label, but the use of umlauts causes problems all the way down the chain. In accordance with my upbringing, I compose all blog posts on paper in Parker penmanship. Said drafts are submitted to the typing pool, where one of the young lovelies will bang it out on the electric typewriter. From there, the post goes to the press, where lead type is placed backwards on massive metal plates to produce a sheet proof. This is then mailed (second class) to a facility in Princeton, NJ where said proof is scanned on the university mainframe and uploaded to the internet. Many have wondered why my posts tend to lag a couple of weeks behind the current events of the day, and I can only respond so quickly given the technology at hand.

2009 Dr. Pauly Bergweiler Bernkasteler Badstube Riesling Kabinett
$22, 9% abv.
I've tasted and reviewed this one previously , but it stands up as a solid German white. Again, nice apples, touch of sweetness, and a light, refreshing body. Really delicious with smoked chicken.

2008 Schloss Reinhartshausen "Old Vines" Riesling
Erbacher Hohenrain, Rheingau
$20, 12% abv.
This dry but relatively strong Riesling has a nose of ripe peach with an interesting touch of cedar. Firm acidity with a taste of pineapple and a long aftertaste. On first sip it's clean and quick, but it rewards a long appreciation.

The second wine was enclosed with a glass stopper. These have shown up in the past few years but it's not a widespread alternative to cork. It's cute and reminds me of apothecaries and ampoules, but I'm not a fan. It doesn't do anything to hurt the wine--it's just glass on glass on wine. But the glass stopper is covered by a metal screwcap... so why not just use a screwcap? And if you pull the chilled white wine from the fridge or cellar, the stopper is covered with condensation and is too slippery to remove.

I'm going to hang on to this bit of glass, because it never hurts to have a spare stopper for an open bottle, but I don't think it's a great choice for wine moving away from cork.

Note: These wines were received as samples.


fredric koeppel said...

wonderful evocation of a printing method that dominated the newspaper industry for 150 years.

Benito said...


Any time I hold an old book or newspaper clipping I think about the tons of iron that smashed together to produce a delicate comma in a sentence. The modern way is far more efficient, but we don't get the occasional hiccup like etaoin shrdlu that brings a smile to my face.


Thomas said...

Ha! I remember my junior high school shop class where we created printed material that way.

Re, the glass stopper: I have one that I use on bottles of wines that were uncharacteristically--around here--not emptied. Just the other day, I asked my wife where the thing came from, because I have no recollection of how it wound up in the little spot in the kitchen where I keep such things. Must have been on a free bottle of nondescript wine that came my way a while ago...

Just got the best wine blog verification word ever: oentail

Benito said...


Right now my glass stopper is sitting on my desk, where I might use it to actually stopper a bottle of wine, but for now it's something that gets rolled around and fiddled with during conference calls.

Some have commented that it looks like an elegant pacifier.


Athalia said...

I really enjoyed reading this post, big fan. Keep up the good work and thanks for sharing with us!